Light horses Saddle horses for riding make up an important group of breeds.
Many people ride horses for pleasure or raise them as a hobby.
Some riders achieve great skill and compete with other riders in horse shows and sports involving horses. HYPERLINK “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/” INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/content/na/pc/th/pc006512.gif” \* MERGEFORMATINET HYPERLINK “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/” INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/content/na/img/pc.gif” \* MERGEFORMATINET Picture HYPERLINK “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/” Morgan INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/content/na/img/spacer.gif” \* MERGEFORMATINET The most popular breeds used for pleasure riding in the United States include the American saddlebred, Tennessee walking horse, Morgan, quarter horse, and Arabian.
Southern plantation owners developed the American saddlebred and the Tennessee walking horse.
The owners wanted mounts that were comfortable to ride.
Tennessee walking horses are especially noted for their comfortable running walk and smooth canter.
All Morgan horses can be traced back to a New England stallion named Justin Morgan.
Morgans were originally used as harness horses for pulling carriages and for harness racing.
After automobiles became popular, breeders developed Morgans into excellent saddle horses. Cowhands use quarter horses for cutting (sorting out) cattle from a herd and for other kinds of ranch work.
Quarter horses can start, stop, and turn quickly.
They respond instantly to the slightest shift of the cowhand’s weight or movement of reins.
These sure-footed horses have great endurance.
They can scramble up and down steep mountain trails and ford swift streams. Quarter horses were developed in America during the early 1700’s.
Breeders crossed thoroughbreds from England with horses from the Spanish colonies of North America.
The new breed could start quickly and run at high speed for short distances.
Owners used these horses for the sport of quarter racing, a 1/4 -mile (0.4-kilometer) race along a straight path. The strong Arabian horse is noted for its endurance.
Arabs developed this breed for use in the desert.
For hundreds of years, breeders in many countries have brought these horses from Arabia and used them to develop new breeds. HYPERLINK “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/” INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/content/na/pc/th/pc006514.gif” \* MERGEFORMATINET HYPERLINK “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/” INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/content/na/img/pc.gif” \* MERGEFORMATINET Picture HYPERLINK “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/” Arabian INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/content/na/img/spacer.gif” \* MERGEFORMATINET One breed that developed from Arabian horses is the thoroughbred.
All thoroughbreds can be traced back to three stallions known as the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian (sometimes called the Godolphin Barb), and the Byerly Turk.
In the late 1600’s and early 1700’s, European breeders crossed these stallions with their own horses to produce the first thoroughbreds.
Thoroughbreds are high-spirited, sensitive horses.
They have powerful lungs and strong legs, which makes them especially well suited for racing.
They are also used for jumping and hunting.
In addition, many polo ponies are part thoroughbred. Lipizzan horses, or Lipizzaners, come from horses imported into Austria from Spain and Italy during the middle 1500’s.
These beautiful show horses have strong bones, short legs, and thick, arched necks.
Their powerful hindquarters enable them to make difficult jumps.
The best-known Lipizzaners are those trained at the Spanish Riding School of Vienna in Austria.
These horses perform graceful jumping and dancing feats. HYPERLINK “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/PrintArticle?id=ar263040&ss=h3&ed=na” Print “Saddle horses” subsection HYPERLINK “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/” INCLUDEPICTURE “http://www.worldbookonline.com/wb/content/na/pc/th/pc006516.gif” \* MERGEFORMATINET
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